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Seed Money from NJPHK Takes Root

April 5, 2014 | Community News

Many good ideas become one-hit wonders because they don’t get enough support to thrive.

Fortunately in Monmouth County, the good idea New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK) had when it provided a mini grant to the Monmouth County Health Department back in 2012 has taken hold.  Belmar School’s Board of Education is ensuring that successful healthy initiatives are sustained. They recently funded a teacher advisor for the Belmar school garden, making it an official club.

In addition, the Belmar School Health Council is using self-sustaining efforts such as selling vegetable and herb seeds and selling a recipe book from the Belmar Elementary School Healthy Chopped Salad Competition to fund the garden this year.

A more healthy approach is being sustained in school cafeterias too. “Food services started taking ingredients from the school garden, such as cucumbers, basil and tomatoes, and incorporating them into cafeteria recipes such as salads and breakfast omelets,” noted Lisa Lee, who serves as a NJPHK point person in Monmouth. “Students are seeing the ‘fruits’ of their gardening efforts in their school breakfasts and lunches.”

As momentum for healthy initiatives grows, the Monmouth County Health Department and Lee are using a new grant to start two more School Health Councils at the Bradley Elementary School and Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Asbury Park and the Farmingdale School is considering a chopped salad competition later this spring.

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